31. December, 2002 - another year gone
29. December, 2002 - a day of rest
I'm being a little lazy with the links and commentary today. Sorry, but I'm all holidazed out, and worrying if I'll have someone to give a "Happy New Year" kiss to in a couple days. As my friend Susan points out, it's the one "free kiss" you get all year long, and it's worth trying to get right, because you might get a chance to parley it into something more.
28. December, 2002 - local news, software
- Coffman Union reaches its final stages and is due to reopen January 22, late and over budget. It'll be interesting to see how it came out. I spent an awful lot of my freshman year at the U in Coffman.
- Reckless Eyeballin' profiles Ron Edwards, a power in (or thorn in the side of) Minneapolis politics, and Busted talks about the upcoming federally-mandated mediation between the Minneapolis Police Department and the community.
- The union at the St. Paul Pioneer Press is getting Scrooged by Knight Ridder. The economy's tough, they're fighting a huge corporation, and their choices are to give in on a contract, or go out on strike. I've been reading The Paper ISBN:0394508777 over the past few months, and the current PiPress sounds more and more like the (now dead) Herald-Tribune. Would that only the Strib was more like the New York Times.
- Why can't VisualStudio.NET do this? If you write code you may be aware of the recent trend of tool standardization. Once such prominent effort is Eclipse, a highly extensible multi-platform IDE that IBM open-sourced last year. It's written in Java, but doesn't feel like it thanks to its scriptable SWT widget set. Supported platforms include your standard Windows, Mac, Linux and a few more.
At present, it is targeted primarily towards Java developers, but that is changing quickly with 'perspectives' for many languages already available, including Dave's PHP. It offers some remarkable capabilities to help you write better code. Best of all, it's free, though you can expect savvy commercial tool vendors to market valuable pluggable componentry in the coming months. [reed]
- Deleting Code is a good thing. But I have clients who don't believe in it, even though they keep everything in version control. But I get tired of having to look at the evolutionary dead ends over and over. Some decent comments would be more useful.
- I think I'm just going to start writing all my code in Ook#. Looks like a heckuva programming language. [boing boing]
27. December, 2002 - It's Friday, right?
- Yeast biologists put winemaking world in a ferment. Apparently they're having a lot of luck genetically engineering yeast to produce better wine. Well, at least to bring the bottom of the curve up. The best wines still require smart humans and good grapes. [boing boing]
- Survey says: Women hate beards. Hmm. A couple gals whom I've asked about this say they much prefer beards, what with stubble being the kind of thing you don't want rubbing against your thighs. This is just the kind of thing I should get comments enabled for, isn't it? Oh well, send 'em in if you've got 'em.
- Pepys' Diary -- Phil Gyford has taken the Project Gutenberg version of Pepys' diary, and will publish it a day at a time, in blog fashion, beginning January 1, 2003. Sure it'll take longer to read than just sitting down with the book, but it's an interesting way to read it. [boing boing]
- The City Pages New Year's Eve Calendar is out, if you're in the Twin Cities and don't already have a place to drink on amateur night.
- Pop-ups add new twist, not only polluting your screen with windows, but now kicking you to new websites if you so much as mouse over some of those windows. The biggest offender? Orbitz. Even before this latest move on their part, I'd decided that I wouldn't ever buy anything from them. [fark!]
26. December, 2002 - post-holiday hangover
- Morning update: I'm awfully glad I got the bulk of this put together last night. After staying up late getting the quiz working, then putting together the picks, I ended up sleeping until almost 9. And here it is nearly noon, and I'm just getting rolling for the day. Where did the morning go? Well, I read the morning news. I also kept a terminal window open watching the errors scroll by in the webserver error logs. There were a ton of PHP warnings, some from code that uses features that have been deprecated, but a fair number from uninitialized variables. Stupid me. Fixed those. Then the UPS guy showed up with the new air-cleaners (Sharper Image Compact Ionic Breezes). Set those up, and marvelled at the silence. It's quiet enough in here now that I can hear my freezer running and be annoyed by the fan noise from my Mac. Swapped a few emails with Bill about server things so I can avoid the problem like last night where sendmail had stopped accepting mail on my server (there was a web-server task running amok in some bad PHP - see the comment on fixing warnings). Finally got to breakfast about 11:15. And here I am, finally ready to crawl into the shower so I can go face the day and it's a couple minutes to noon. I think I need to work on simplifying my mornings.
- I finally put together the Which Dave's Picks contributor are you? quiz that won Jenny the camera contest a couple weeks ago. The cool questions, answers and such are hers. The lack of visual spiffiness is all my fault.
- I watched Susan Slept Here last night. I've got a weakness for romantic comedies from the 50s, I guess. 35 year old man who can't commit and a 17 year old gal who does want to, played by Debbie Reynolds at 21. Rowr! It's another movie that made me smile.
- Many immigrants were worried about new federal requirements that all male visitors over 16 register and be fingerprinted. Nonetheless, many obeyed the rules. The result? - Hundreds of Muslim Immigrants Rounded Up in Calif. More info available from the ACLU. [Jim]
- The word mokita is from the Kiriwina language (an indigenous tribe of Papua, New Guinea). It means the truth that everybody knows but no one speaks about. In that vein we have this - Patriot Act threat to democracy, Muslims say from CNN. [Jim]
- Cities Say No to Federal Snooping, passing local laws that prohibit folks from collaborating with the feds. Maybe it'll take a bite out of PATRIOT yet.
- U.S. Combat Pilots on Speed during an accident in Afghanistan. Seems that
they could be considered unfit to fly certain missions if they don't voluntarily take the amphetamines. As Fat Freddy said,
BEAD DROOLS! SKILL PEEDS! SKEED PILLS! Or more ominously, as Frank Zappa said,
In general, this drug will make you just like your mother and father. Who's winning the war on drugs now? Not the Canadians who got blowed up by "friendly fire".
- Speaking of our neighbors in the Great White North, Canadian gun owners prepare for civil disobedience over approaching registration. There are a number of them who aren't going to register. [endwar]
- Global file swapper eludes pursuers. How Kazaa has managed to avoid getting trounced like Napster did.
25. December, 2002 - Merry Christmas
- Merry Christmas. I hope you got sometime better than a lump of coal. After all, you've been good, right?
- There may be a white Christmas from coast to coast, but we've still got dirt showing here in Minnesota. First time since 1997 we've had a brown Christmas (using the official definition of 1" or more of snow meaning a white christmas). [scripting]
- Without Judge Harry Crump, the Twins might be long gone. A good profile of the judge who saved baseball. [strib]
- 24-hour drive-thru asks some hard questions about the abuses at airport security I thought about linking to last week, but apparently didn't. Also a photographer supposedly arrested for taking pictures of Cheney's hotel which I did cover . There's a good chance neither story is based in fact. News spreads quickly in the blog world. But there's also a lot of people out there who can fact-check these things and get the facts right in the end. [boing boing]
- More on bloggers getting the facts: Trent Lott Gets Bloggered and Bloggers catch what Washington Post missed [warning: popup]. The Trent Lott story had been mostly missed by the mainstream media, but when various people online wouldn't let it die, it became a big deal. [doc]
24. December, 2002 - Christmas Eve
- Antarctic explorers try out kite power to cross part of Antarctica in a hurry. It's science-fiction material that reality's caught up to. [some guy]
- Making the Macintosh is a history done by Stanford. Cool.
- Hoaxers vs the Rocket Scientists Were the Apollo moon landings faked? Conspiracy advocates say it was a hoax perpetrated by the US government to win the space race against the Soviet Union. With two prime-time specials and many books, history is slowly being rewritten in the popular mind. NASA remains unsure how to respond to such preposterousness and finds itself stumbling. (Not mentioned in the article is that the first high-profile attempt to poke fun at the conspiracy theorists is the 1971 James Bond flick Diamonds are Forever which featured a moon-buggy chase outside of Las Vegas on a mock-up movie set. [reed]
- Distributed Proofreaders are working to improve the text-checking rate at Project Gutenberg.
- Everything is an online encyclopædia [some guy]
- Zeldman provides an OS X Switcher's Guide. I don't know that entirely agree with him (typeit4me never did much for me, for example), but I'm still going to keep the bookmark handy as I spend more time on OS X. [zeldman]
- Picture Yourself is a collection of pictures people have taken of themselves.
- The Luminous Landscape has a number of useful photography tutorials online.
- Speaking of photography, don't forget it's World Sousveillance Day today.
22. December, 2002 - the government we deserve?
21. December, 2002 - happy solstice
Well, here it is, the solstice. The sun'll be headed back toward our part of the world tomorrow. The mood here in Dave Central? About as dark as the season would suggest, but there's more sunshine in the future, one would hope. I guess we'll see what sort of turnarounds Mr. Sun brings with him. My mantra at this point is
One More Week, and it'll all be done, since next Saturday is the last of the family gatherings for the season. It's not that I don't like my family, but a lot gets concentrated into a week around the holidays.
- I updated the list of related sites after not looking at it for about eight months. Some things changed, some stayed the same. The biggest change is that now other local recumbent riders show up on the list.
- How was the show has An Interview with Kari Tauring about her 4th Annual Yuletide Celebration at Patrick's Cabaret. Remember, tonight is the last night. [Jim]
- Trent Lott's Lot -- funny poem about bloggers and Lott. It's been argued that bloggers helped raise consciousness about this story. Me, I'm thinking it's just a good thing that either party is clearing out some dead wood, so I'm happy to see Lott go.
- Bad Lands, Bad Votes talks about some pretty questionable election practices in South Dakota. I suspect Johnson will keep the seat he won, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear as much howling from the Republicans as we did from the Democrats over Florida two years ago.
- Here's some NRA Advertising. I should get a sign like that, I think.
- GI Party is a collection of weblogs maintained by members of the US military, updated frequently. The original concept was to provide the military members a medium through which they could communicate with family and friends. It has grown quite popular now, and folks come by to gain insight into life in the military. Most of the bloggers on GI Party are in the Air Force. [some GI] [It seems this is a pretty new thing, and they're still finding their voice. I plan on checking back to see how it turns out. It might be interesting. -DaveP]
- There will be a Naked-eye Comet for the New Year. Perihelion about January 28. [fark!]
- Spring is a new product for Mac OS X. After 15 minutes clicking around in it, I just don't get it. This helps me do what? I'd be happy to hear an explanation. Other people seem all het up about Spring, and I'm sitting here thinking
20. December, 2002 - web life
- How was the show has An Interview with Kari Tauring about her upcoming 4th Annual Yuletide Celebration at Patrick's Cabaret. It started last night. [Jim]
- Bush Administration to Propose System for Monitoring Internet [registration required]. Well, of course they want to monitor everything. But monitoring the whole net might just be a bit trickier than they expect. There's a lot of internet out there. [scripting]
- TIA, Poindexter, and the Incredibly Shrinking .Mil Website talks about how the Eye of Horus (and other information) has disappeared from the IAO website. But it being the web, there are archives. (Note that the same thing happened over at FEMA a while back when Operation TIPS got outlawed.) [boing boing]
- Vanishing Act: The U.S. Government's Disappearing Data. It's not just the Eye of Horus that's gone missing.
Government-sponsored (which is to say, taxpayer-funded) information and research is disappearing from government web sites, much of it in the name of national security. And those government websites are disappearing just after Bush signed the E-Government Act of 2002. No irony there, I'm sure.
- Free Speech -- Virtually. There's a lot of people putting stuff in their blogs that can get them in trouble. Well, yeah. There's going to be some of that because people don't always think before they speak, and blogging tools have made posting something to the net pretty easy. And on the other side of the coin, people don't know what their rights are, either. Your employer does not own you. You have a contract of some sort with them. Have you ever read it? And remember, if you put it on the web, it could be "out there" forever. Archives. Google Cache.[scripting]
- AOL patents instant messaging, which seems to be causing a pretty big stink. Apparently nobody in the patent office is old enough to remember the prior art of PLATO , among plenty of others.
- The XML Family Tree A bird's eye view of the huge family of XML specifications, all clickable for your convenience. [Reed, via James Strachan's Radio Weblog]
- 'Do not call' telemarketing list for nation unveiled, and this one has penalties that could go as high as $11k. [strib]
- Bye Telemarketing, Hi More Spam?. They'll be forced to advertise somehow, so they'll probably turn to the cheapest method available. But would anyone actually notice? I'd probably end up having to tighten up the filters a bit, but I was planning to do that anyhow. Things are slipping through, and the only false-positive lately was a "your package shipped" message from L.L.Bean that I really didn't need to see anyhow.
- And finally, in a more typical Friday kind of vibe, sometimes, reading Joey's blog, I think to myself: I gotta get me an accordion. Free beer!
- Maybe you should learn Bar Sign Language, because, after all, you can't drink when you're talking.
19. December, 2002 - gray grey gray
In an administrative note, I've been noodling with the style sheets here to make sure everything looks equally good in both Mac IE and Mozilla. I had some things that weren't making Moz happy. In any case, fixing Moz meant breaking things for Netscape 4.x. Not sure I'm going to bother re-fixing it at this point, but feel free to email in bug reports if something's rendering funny.
Days like yesterday and today are one of my least favorite parts of winter in Minnesota. The weather's been unseasonably warm (mid-40s yesterday), there's no snow, and we had enough rain and humidity that even if there aren't clouds higher in the sky, you can't tell through the fog. Waking up gets tougher because there's no real light coming through my windows. Getting out for a walk isn't so pleasant because it might rain or snow or both (and almost certainly at the point when I'm farthest from home). If I wanted this kind of weather, I'd be living in Vancouver or London or something, not in Minnesota. We're supposed to have snow and brilliantly crisp blue skies, not fog and rain. Especially not less than a week before Christmas.
18. December, 2002 - running late
I was running late today, so it's an afternoon update. It was kind of a dreary day, and combined with going out for an adult beverage or two with some friends last night, then coming home and staying up sending off some probably ill-advised emails until about 4, for some reason I didn't hit the floor running this morning. But I went downtown to have lunch with another friend, and all the tall buildings were being swallowed by clouds, so I took a couple pictures. And now I'm getting the posting done for the day, only about six hours late.
- This is what Molly Ivins had to say about the appointment of war criminal emeritus Henry Kissinger being appointed by the Bush administration to investigate 9/11. Kissinger has since resigned due to conflicts of interest. Most likely, Kissinger concluded that it wasn't worth investigating rank amateurs who only killed 3,000 people. [Jim]
- Perspective: Tech's answer to Big Brother is to use databases that don't actually store user information, but can verify it. A darned good idea, I think. [boing boing]
- Set aside some time, and go read Guns and Freedom. It's long, but worth it.
If civilization is worth having (and I believe it is) then it has to be defended. [flutterby]
- librarian.net : avoiding the PATRIOT Act since 2001. Some technically legal signs librarians can display to warn patrons that their reading habits may end up in a file in Washington D.C. [boing boing]
- Check out the New Government Emblem. Heh! [endwar]
17. December, 2002 - givin' 'em the business
- David DeYoung also felt young by going to the The Dave Ray Tribute. [Jim]
- Despite the year-end noise, music industry fading away. They tried to squeeze every last penny of profit out of consumers and artists, and now people aren't buying much music. My music purchases are sure way down. And the music I did buy this year was either bought directly from local artists or bought used. [doc]
- RIAA's Statistics Don't Add Up to Piracy. Rather, they released fewer titles last year, and sales were down. But the percentage decrease in titles was a lot more than the decrease in sales. Yeah, I feel pretty bad for 'em. [boing boing]
- The CD MAP Settlement site has information on how to claim your share of the settlement the record companies have to pay for setting CD prices too high. If you bought a prerecorded music CD between 1995 and 2001, you're eligible for between 5 and 20 dollars. [boing boing]
- No, really! when AOL laid of half of the mozilla.org people, what was in their severance packages? You got it, 1000 hours free! [boing boing]
- Google vs. Evil. A good discussion of morals on the internet, and within the best search engine on it. [scripting]
- Yeah, someone won the camera. I'm still working on the code I need to properly show you the winning entry. It's not too often someone wins a prize for making me do more work.
- I wrote up some thoughts on self censorship and blogging and how it applies to what you might see here on Dave's Picks. Nothing profound, but I was thinking about it and then there was another essaylet written.
16. December, 2002 - Monday funnies
Walking home after dropping my car off at the shop yesterday, I thought about my neighborhood. When I first moved down to Minneapolis to go to the U, my apartment was just across the railroad tracks from the Bunge Grain Elevator. I was often hitch-hiking to and from Minneapolis, and getting back to town on a Sunday afternoon or evening often meant getting dropped in a part of town I wasn't familiar with, on a day when the buses don't run very frequently (if at all). So my usual plan for getting home was to look for downtown, and aim a bit to the northeast of it. And then look for the Bunge and I'm home.
Nowadays, I'm usually driving, which puts me on 35W. And when I'm giving people directions to my house, I tell them the exit, and then say
it's right next to that tall steeple you can see from the freeway which usually gets a reply like
Oh yeah, I know where that is. No real point to this rambling, except that I was thinking a little about how I navigate around town, and how it's changed over the years. And there's a couple pictures that needed some text to explain them.
- Odor eliminator can make lutefisk dish a surprise. See, people won't be able to smell you cooking the lutefisk and won't have a chance to run away. [strib]
- The Minnesota Daily has their satirical finals issue out. It looks like an okay effort. There's a few real good stories, and more that don't quite hit the mark.
- GI Janes flaunt their sports bras to prove they're women before searching Afghan women (people were protesting about male soldiers searching women until it was pointed out that "those aren't guys". Why do I suspect that female soldiers in sports bras doesn't make the religious leaders any more happy? [fark!]
- Don't like that holiday drink? Check out the No Nog Weblog. [davezilla]
- Dave Barry's annual holiday gift guide, in case you're still wondering what to get that hard-to-shop-for relative. [fark!]
- Get those cards out! Today will be busiest day at post office, because it's the last chance to get things mailed to be sure they arrive by Christmas. [strib]
15. December, 2002 - Bill Of Rights day
14. December, 2002 - bye, Dave
- Last night was the Dave Ray Tribute at First Ave. The place was packed. Like BiL shows on St. Pat's packed. (I felt as though I was one of the youngest people there, which was pretty odd, too.) It was a great show. It started with some kids that Dave had worked with in one of the local schools singing. Then a band of friends. Then Dave's brothers. Then Willie Murphy. And finishing up with Spider John and Tony, and a seat for Dave's memory, followed by a few viddies and then three minutes of silence (well, most of us were quiet). It gave me some closure. I didn't get to see Dave's last local show at the Cedar, but this one closed the books. R.I.P. Dave. We'll miss you.
- And now moving to lighter topics, I'll start with a random quote, taken completely out of context:
I can be kind of anal-rententive sometimes.
That's okay. I like anal.
I think she's a keeper.
- Looking for another name for your penis, schlong, woody, etc? Check out Woody's World of Penis Euphemisms! [WVSR]
- Reversible male oral contraceptive deforms sperm . Still undergoing studies, but it might lead to a male pill soon. [fark!]
- Sex Work For Couples: Three Is Not Always A Crowd talks about couples hiring a sex-worker for a threesome. I was asked the other day if this is a common male fantasy, and while I'm sure there's a lot of guys who'd be into it, I figure I've still got plenty to figure out about dealing with just one woman before I worry about two at once. I'm pretty sure I'd be way too intimidated to be of any use to anyone. [flutterby]
- [Not Safe For Work]: Match Your Snatch and Clone Your Bone. Great "adult" presents? Kits to make a mold of your private bits so you can make a replica for your special someone. Or a bar of soap! Or a fridge magnet! A fridge magnet? [boing boing]
13. December, 2002 - superstitious? me?
|I uploaded the critter pictures from my day at the zoo on Wednesday.|
- Here's the thing I most hate about sinus problems: Sudafed does a pretty good job of clearing things up so I can breathe, but if I take the 12-hour Sudafed about 8 or 9 pm, the peak of its speedy goodness hits me about 5am, and I'm wide awake. So I can breathe, but I can't sleep. Ugh. But 8 or 9 pm is about when the one I took the previous morning wears off. But I did get to sleep from about 10am until 3pm yesterday. Sleep schedule? What's that?
- Reminder: Tonight is the Dave Ray Memorial at First Avenue. 5pm. $12 at the door.
- The Balloon Hat Experience is two guys who go to strange places, make balloon hats, and take pictures of people wearing them.
The goal was to show people all over the world laughing and having fun, and to emphasize the fact that all human beings are born with the ability to experience joy. [boing boing]
- Don't feel like selling your stuff on eBay? Trade it on Trodo instead. [boing boing]
- Tim O'Reilly: Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution. It's a lot like the talk he gave at Mac OS X con. [some guy]
- Google seems to be trying out a WebQuotes service. They say:
Google WebQuotes annotates the results of your Google search with comments from other websites. This offers a convenient way to get a third party's opinion about each of the returns for your search, providing you with more information about that site's credibility and reputation. Looks like it could be handy if it works.
- Protecting your assets - keeping people from ripping off your images. I point it out because nothing listed in the article is very effective. If people can see your image on the internet, they can rip it off. The best you can do is try to make it so someone honest who wants to use your image can find a way to contact you. [zeldman]
- Reed tells me he's discovered the soothing effects of Lava Lites, but he's also got some LampLust for other lights.
- Mac Addicts to the Rescue - a story of the kind of solidarity that happens in the Mac world, because we're a minority. Guy sells mac on eBay, gets a bogus cashiers check in return. Activates the horde of Mac fanatics, and has everything he needs to convict the crook if only the Chicago PD will get off their butts and arrest him. Go read the story. [boing boing]
12. December, 2002 - sinus hell
- Yeah, I know I'm late with the morning update. Sorry. Having your sinuses feel like someone's jammed them full of concrete impregnated cotton balls will do that to a guy. Don't look for any deep messages in the posts today, either. Brain no work.
- Yesterday I took a couple hours during the day and walked around the Como Conservatory and zoo taking pictures. I don't have the pictures ready for posting yet (I spent last evening working on the upload picture script to make it a lot fancier -- hopefully you'll never notice), but it was amazing to me how nice the zoo and conservatory are on a gloomy winter day. Very few people there, and while it was too dark to take a lot of the pictures I wanted to without flash, I still enjoyed both the flowers and the critters.
- Between going to the zoo and working on scripts, I spent a few minutes putting together my Christmas List for Santa. I'll probably end up with coal.
- Speaking of Christmas lists, the 15 worst holiday gift ideas. [fark!]
- Dave Winer has some good ideas in his suggestions for a Weblogs in Meatspace conference. Now if he were to work with the people who were doing BlogCamp and the Blogcon it might even help break down some of the cliques in the blogging world.
- Bush Whacking talks about a couple locals who are giving the business to W and Norm. Good for them.
- Radio K busts onto the FM airwaves. The bad news? You'll have to be west of downtown to get it.
- Space Aliens Ate My Volume Headers tells how to repair HFS+ volume headers if Mac OS X stomps them for you.
- Australia makes landmark net ruling allowing Dow Jones to be sued in Australia for an article published on their website inthe U.S. [some guy]
11. December, 2002 - a little fun
- Last night (well, about 15 minutes ago as I write this at quarter to 1am) I hooked up the Google Hilite stuff here on Dave's Picks. Regular readers will probably never notice, but the people coming in from google will see their search terms hilighted. Thanks to Dean over at Textism for the code.
- Yesterday, I also got the St. John's Prep alumni directory in the mail. It's on a CD now, which I figured was a step forward. But rather than provide something useful like a set of web-pages, it's got a custom application that's slow to operate (on a dual-processor 1GHz G4!) and takes over the entire screen, while telling you it looks best at 800x600 (my screen's 1600x1024). Bleagh. I find myself thinking that maybe Better Nerds should take a look at making a directory that for them that doesn't suck.
- Hey! My rant about the Logitech Pocket Digital got mentioned on O'Grady's PowerPage. Lots o' new visitors. Welcome.
- Create-A-Fart. Yeah, it's exactly what it sounds like. [some guy]
- 19 million mail bins are missing. I've had one for over a month, but it's been sitting there waiting for the mailman to take it away the whole time. Apparently the shortage isn't that acute. [fark!]
- Think you've got configuration problems? Imagine a Five Hundred mile email limit and how you'd figure out what's going wrong. [boing boing]
- On Hacking - Richard Stallman. A nice little essay on one of the things that makes life fun. And to some extent, hacking yourself is one of the things that can keep maturity at bay
- Amish Tech Support is hosting the Carnival of the Vanities number 12. It's blog-posts that people are especially proud of. They're self-nominated, so it's a mixed bag, but there are a few worth reading.
- Some guy named Bernie has a theory about how one gets home from the bar sometimes: Beer Scooters. Me, I usually walk. Fewer bonks that way.
- Huh. Blogstreet says Layne ranks ranks #1950 of 31078. I'm #10428. I'm a little jealous. Do you think a picture of me showing a little cleavage would help? Probably not.
10. December, 2002 - and now, in local news…
|The University of MN|
9. December, 2002 - back to work you slacker!
|U of MN Steam Plant|
- Remember! Less than a week remaining to tell me why you should get a free camera.
- I wrote an essay about Maturity and what it means to me this morning. I think I'm against it.
- Feds Label Wi-Fi a Terrorist Tool, specifically open wireless networks. [boing boing]
- Software giants 'trample freedoms'. Source of the quote? RMS, natch. But he's got a point.
- Court Upholds Calif. Assault Weapons Ban, saying that the 2nd amendment is not an individual right. They seem to me to be confused. [fark!]
- Photographer Arrested For Taking Pictures Of Vice President's Hotel. Apparently a camera is now a terrorist weapon. The police side of the story? They never arrested anyone matching his description. [boing boing]
- Hollywood Gets Norway to Try Jon Johansen Three Years Later. He's facing criminal charges for taking the necessary steps to view his own DVDs on his own computers. [boing boing]
- The ACLU's latest commercials are apparently pretty good. And pretty hard on John Ashcroft's view of the world. I haven't seen them yet, but I started complaining about this stuff beore USA-Patriot came to a vote. The situation hasn't gotten any better since.
- Soemthing's going on in Venezuela. I don't have much idea of what it is, or what to think of it, but The Devil's Excrement is a first hand account by a blogger. [Jim]
- Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Baked Beans, Spam, Spam, Spam, And Spam! Y'know, spam might not be that bad. It does give the gummint snoops more email to sift through. And they probably can't just toss all the spam out of hand, because someone might be including steganographically encoded messages. [endwar]
- Suit alleges deceptive Internet advertising banners. A lawyer's suing the
Your computer is currently broadcasting an Internet IP address. With this address, someone can immediately begin attacking your computer. people. [fark!]
8. December, 2002 - Hardware roundup
I took a longish walk yesterday on the way to the liquor store to prepare for last night's poker game. I've been walking around more again lately, which makes me feel good. But taking a couple-hour long walk in the middle of the day cuts into my work day, too. Part of the reason I started Polaschek Computing and Better Nerds was that I was tired of working more than 40 hours every week on other people's projects, and wanted to be able to set my own schedule and take some time for learning new stuff and doing fun projects. My current client has been trying to guilt me into providing more hours right now, and I realize that's part of what's been making me grumpy, especially since my list of projects I want to do has been growing a lot lately. I think I need to remind myself more often that I need time to stop and lick the icicles. Maybe it's selfish, but I think it's what I need to do.
|Icicle hanging from the stone arch bridge|
- Novel fridge cools with sound. As a bonus, fewer moving parts, so it'll probably be more reliable, too. The 173dB would be enough to set your hair on fire from friction if the sound were to hit you, but it's safely contained, they say. Ain't science cool? [boing boing]
- Will Apple be expelled from school? Seems their share has been sliding in the education market, mostly because of cost. [some guy]
- Wireless Electricity Becomes a Reality, sorta. It's basically a charging station that you don't have to carefully place your device on, you can just set it anywhere. But it's no tesla coil broadcasting power through your house, dammit. [fark!]
- 250 years of lead pollution in Greenland tells how we've been dumping lead into the atmosphere over time. Core samples of ice have some pretty good history. [strib]
- Feeling a need to really get away from it all? Pick up a Personal Luxury Submarine and head beneath the water.
- Want a house? Got a quarter million and some land? Go buy the 727-200 Airplane home for sale on ebay. Hey, they can even set it up so it pivots to point into the wind. Talk about bed-spins!
7. December, 2002 - some saturday sex'n'stuff
6. December, 2002 - friday fun - safe for work
5. December, 2002 - political day
- Eyeballing Total Information Awareness suggests that humans give John Poindexter a taste of what TIA might be like. Matt Smith at the SF Weekly has said that he'll make public whatever folks can dig up. There's already satellite images of Poindexter's neighborhood and the names and numbers of neighbors. What can you add to the mix? [boing boing]
- The Information Awareness Office is gathering Too Much Information. But their website might lead you to believe it's all an elaborate joke inspired by Philip K. Dick. Too bad he's dead.
Maybe the Administration needs to catch up on its sci-fi reading. Philip K. meant his dark visions as warnings, not as bureaucratic charters for George W. [some guy]
- FatWallet fights back against silly DMCA claim. One of the few good provisions in the DMCA is that if someone frivolously accuses you of infringing copyright, you can recover the costs you incurred in dealing with them. Or so goes the theory. [boing boing]
- How To Win DMCA Exemptions And Influence Policy. Comments on the adverse effects of the DMCA are due by December 18th, and they could convince the Library of Congress to exempt certain classes of documents. [boing boing]
- Spank the Donkey is an article from the City Pages on why folks should give up on the Deomcratic party. It comes about seven years after I'd already decided the democrats didn't represent me anymore.
- Poll Axed talks about why the pollsters called so many elections wrong this year, and what it means for politics.
- Mossad agents sent in to kill. It seems Al Qaeda was probably behind the attacks in Kenya. And it also seems that they've pissed off the wrong people.
- Saudi commercials could be feel-good hoax. I haven't seen the commercials, but this editorial makes the point that while the Saudis say they're helping fight terrorists, the deeds don't seem to match the words.
- Michigan appeal case possible threat to Roe vs. Wade. A woman was convicted of manslaughter for killing a guy who punched her in the stomach. She claimed self-defense, fearing for the life of her fetus. Her conviction, which was later overturned by a state court of appeals, and is now bound for the Michigan supreme court. Why is this important to abortion rights? Because if it was self-defense, then the fetus was legally a human and the guy was attempting murder. But that would mean that if she'd decided on an abortion, that would have been murder, too.
- Finally, on a lighter note (if you've hung in there this long), Shell gave us Things you can only say at Thanksgiving. Only took me a week to notice it, but it's worth pointing to, even if I'm slow.
- Oh, and for those who were wondering, Yahoo! Messenger - Macintosh Version works just fine on Mac OS 9, too. The instability of earlier versions seems to be gone now.
4. December, 2002 - toys
- When I woke up this morning about 6am and walked into the kitchen, I noticed that the glow from the streetlight on the curtains in the front window had a different quality. Hmm? Pulling aside the curtain, I see that there's enough snow to cover up all the dirt and grass. Light fluffy snow that hadn't yet been mashed flat by the cars and feet of the students heading off to the University. The streetlight was reflecting and sparkling off it, and it looked darned pretty, and now it suddenly feels like we're getting close to Christmas and I need to get moving on writing cards and buying presents and I bet there's even eggnog in the stores.
- Small study links biking, male infertility is a misleading headline. Clearly, what they mean is that riding a standard upright bike (a "wedgie") is connected to male infertility. It's really just another reason to buy a recumbent. (Jim)
- The e-waste land, where old computers go to die.
So much harm has come under the green passport of recycling, says Puckett.
Whenever someone says that word, it has the effect of making people swoon and think that everything is going to be lovely. In places such as Guiyu, everything is far from lovely.
- The Pitfalls of Premature Generalization There's an art to designing things (like software) that are expected to grow over time. By contrast, building a bridge that spans a river is more direct -- the civil engineer will have a concrete set of requirements at the outset and can design a span that fits to spec, exactly. Software often isn't like that. We expect the requirements to change and are tempted to anticipate those changes early-on. This can lead to the tactical mistakes of premature generalization and optimization. Worse yet, there can emerge snobbish culture to reinforce those bad habits. [Reed, via the awesome JavaBlogs]
- About once a year or so I end up doing some online chatting (usually with a cute gal, natch) and invariably end up trying a new client. This time, it was Yahoo! Messenger - Macintosh Version that I tried out, and I tried it on Mac OS X. It's a pretty nice bit of software. It did exactly what I wanted, and didn't have a ton of bells and whistles in my face to bug me.
- Tired of those pesky electric bills? But some Telco Powered Products (TM) and get your power from the phone company.
Too cheap to meter! [boing boing]
2. December, 2002 - I'm ready for some snow
1. December, 2002 - There went the weekend
- Yesterday saw another one of those minor annoyances that can eat up the better part of an afternoon. I had to run to the bank, pick up a few things at Target and get some gas in my car. Seemed like simple enough errands, but when I went to put gas in the car, I noticed that my gas-cap was missing. Bleh. Three parts stores later, I finally found one that would fit. Thinking back on it, the last time I fueled the car, I'm pretty sure I put the cap back. I wonder if someone ripped it off.
- For that matter, this whole weekend hasn't been what I'd hoped. I was hoping on getting both some paying work done, plus some additional coding for the websites. Instead, I had some sort of stomach ailment that only seems to be fading away today. So I spent most of the weekend sitting around trying not to puke, rather than getting anything done. And today I've got tons of laundry to do, plus it's the day to haul out all the recycling and trash and stuff. Blegh. I don't so much mind cleaning if I don't have to do huge chunks of it at once. But once again, I've let things pile up to the point where I'm going to have to devote the better part of a day just getting my place habitable again. Well, and whining to you about it. After all, what unpleasant job can't be made worse with some complaining?
- Telling All Online: It's a Man's World (Isn't it?) talks about the seeming dearth of female bloggers. I have a few problems with the article. The first is that, as the author points out, there are women out there, they just don't seem to get as much attention as some of the guys do (even if they get more attention than some other guys, like me). I don't know if anyone's even tried to count all the blogs (or if you even could). The second is that, like our 717 parties, I consider it a success if there are more women than Daves and I'm pretty sure we've at least passed that point.
- Speaking of 717, if you hung out at our parties there and have incriminating photos, interesting memories, or other bits I should add to that page, by all means, send 'em in. I figure in my copious spare time, I'm putting together some sort of shrine.
- What Paranoid Conspiracy Theory Are You? Me? I'm the FBI. Spooky.
- Police roust uninvited riders in Holidazzle Parade debut, but otherwise parade brought in the crowds. It tells of Friday's Critical Mass ride here in Minneapolis. Apparently the cops were pulling people off bikes and confiscating the bikes again when the ride got onto Nicollet Mall. Don't fuck with Holidazzle seems to be the message. When I heard about it (after the fact, I wasn't feeling up to riding on Friday), my first thought was how to do the final Animal House parade scene to Holidazzle. The parade is just a pain in the ass to me. It shuts off huge chunks of downtown Minneapolis, and brings lots of extra cars full of people who aren't used to the one-way streets into downtown. Bah! Humbug! And the Strib? No mention of it at all. So much for being the
paper of record for the Twin Cities.
- U.S.-Saudi ties snarl effort to stop money flow to militants. Yeah. The Saudis are really working hard to cut off the flow of money. Look, Saudi Arabia is a country where if you get caught shoplifting, they'll lop off your hand so you don't do it again, and yet they can't stop the crown prince's wife from sending money to Osama bin Laden? Pshaw. They don't want to coöperate, and it's time to quit giving them even more money. [strib]
Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek.
Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:53:01.